Vision May 2007 Highlights Living Well With Vision Loss Online Access to Consumer Products Open Road: Touring with Purpose Event Research News CNIB strives to be the leader in promoting vision health and enhancing independence for people with vision loss. CNIB 1929 Bayview Ave Toronto, ON M4G 3E8 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Publications Mail Agreement # 40064124 Canadians Need Increased Awareness of UV’s Danger to the Eyes Transitions Optical has conducted its first consumer research study in Canada exploring ultraviolet (UV) awareness and protection habits. The study reinforces findings of similar surveys worldwide that, while the vast majority of consumers know UV rays can cause skin cancer, they are largely unaware of the sun’s danger to their eyes, demonstrating an urgent need for education. Compared to other countries, Canadians had higher overall awareness of the need to protect the skin. Ninety-two per cent of adults mentioned “cancer” on an unprompted basis as a harmful effect of sun exposure. This number surpassed what was documented in other countries surveyed. In addition, when it came to knowledge about other dangers of UV exposure such as wrinkles and sunburn, Canadians showed an overall higher awareness than respondents of a similar survey conducted in the U.S. last year. But despite higher overall awareness, only nine per cent of Canadians know that UV can harm the eyes, a level on par with other countries surveyed. Canadian respondents were also more likely to protect themselves from the sun: about four out of five report that they apply sunscreen, more than half wear a hat, and 33 per cent wear clothing to cover the skin when out in the sun for extended periods of time. However, only one in six mentioned wearing sunglasses. Supported by Transitions Optical’s newly established Healthy Sight for Life Fund, CNIB and Transitions Optical are partnering to raise awareness about the need to protect the eyes from UV damage as an important aspect of vision loss prevention. Transitions Optical has pledged a $1 donation for every pair of lenses registered using the Transitions Certificate of Authenticity, up to $25,000. The contributions will help fund CNIB’s efforts to expand vision loss education and prevention programs. “Protecting our eyes from UV damage is an important aspect of vision loss prevention, and one that all Canadians should understand,” said Wendy Gibbs, Vice President, Communications and Development, CNIB. “This type of information is extremely valuable as we continue to expand our vision health programs.” To learn more, visit www.cnib.ca and www.transitions.com. Living Well with Vision Loss Vision loss can affect anyone, at any age. It can change how a child learns to spell, read and play; how a young adult prepares for school and a career; or how a senior interacts with friends, family and caregivers. But for the most part, vision loss does not mean that you have to stop doing the things that you like, or need, to do. A few simple adjustments in and around the home will help you make the most of your vision and stay safe and independent while continuing to enjoy the things that matter most. Handy household hints Inside the home, proper lighting can make all the difference. Consider using task lighting for writing, sewing and reading, and installing a waterproof light in the shower or bath for safety. Sensor lights are a great, inexpensive way to make sure the front entrance to your home is securely lit, and save you from hunting for the keyhole! In the kitchen, label canned and dry goods with a thick black marker on a white label to help identify ingredients. The same method can also be used for medications and toiletries. Label frequently-used settings on appliances such as stoves, microwaves and washing machines with a thick black marker or tactile “bumper dots,” available at CNIB. Remove throw rugs and tape down electrical cords all through the home to prevent tripping and slipping, and use a rubber mat in the bath or shower. For more information, and dozens more practical tips on adjusting to vision loss, contact CNIB in your community, or visit the Living with Vision Loss section of our website at www.cnib.ca. For information about more than 1,100 helpful products contact our consumer products and assistive technology demonstration centre near you, visit us online at www.cnib.ca/consumer-products or call us toll-free at 1-866-659-1843. Tips for family, friends and caregivers Whether you’re working in a facility or assisting someone in their own home, be sensitive to the fact that you’re on their “turf.” Try to avoid moving things around or making adjustments without consent from the person with vision loss – it can be very frustrating for them. Identify yourself first to someone with vision loss – “Hi, Andrea, it’s Steve” is usually enough. Be specific with offers of assistance. Instead of an open-ended offer, such as “Let me know if you need anything,” try a more concrete offer such as “I am driving to the store. Would you like to come?” Research in Brief CNIB study educates seniors and health-care professionals about age-related vision loss According to a 2004 CNIB study, patients who are diagnosed with vision loss are often told that “nothing more can be done,” and consequently, referral to vision support services is often delayed until their vision loss has become very advanced. A new CNIB project aims to change this. “Yes! Something More CAN Be Done! You and Your Vision Health” will empower seniors to manage their own vision health, and inform professionals about the importance of early referral to low vision services. The project involves distributing a booklet to seniors, providing information in doctors’ and hospital waiting rooms, and holding a national series of seminars for seniors and professionals alike, starting this summer. For the seminar schedule or to download a free copy of the booklet, visit www.cnib.ca after July 1. NewsFlash Mark your calendar! Vision 2008, the world’s largest conference on low vision, will take place in Montreal, Quebec, from July 7-11, 2008. Vision 2008 offers a unique, interactive forum where professionals involved in vision research can share their specialized knowledge and experience with colleagues from around the world. Presented by The Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille and the École d’Optométrie of the Université de Montréal, in partnership with CNIB, the theme is "Research-Rehabilitation Partnerships" and the focus will be the delivery of vision support services to people living with vision loss. To register or to learn more, visit www.opto.umontreal.ca/vision2008/index.htm. Consumer Product Spotlight CNIB opens online access to consumer products CNIB has made some exciting changes to the way customers browse and purchase our innovative consumer products. Our new centralized order and delivery system enables consumers to purchase products from the comfort of their own homes - by phone, by email or through CNIB’s new secure online store. Previously, CNIB's consumer products were sold through CNIB Centres that stocked a limited selection. Through our new system, there are over 1,100 products at your fingertips. Simply order from home, pay by credit card, cheque or money order, and have your product choice delivered directly to you – usually within 72 hours. You can also visit your local CNIB centre to try out some of the most popular items, browse the catalogue and phone our order desk. And CNIB staff are available to do assessments, provide training, demonstrate products and help you to select the most appropriate items to meet your needs. A new “Products for Independence” catalogue will soon be available in multiple formats or online to help you choose what you need. To get your copy, just call 1-866-659-1843, email email@example.com or visit your local CNIB centre. CNIB is committed to providing quality service, and this new process helps ensures that anyone with vision loss, no matter where they live, can obtain consumer products and information as efficiently as possible. More than half of CNIB’s clients across Canada have been using this new system successfully for the past year, and the results have been overwhelmingly positive. We invite you to visit the Demonstration Centre nearest you and see the exciting new changes for yourself. You can also visit us online at www.cnib.ca/consumer-products, or call us toll-free at 1-866-659-1843 for more information. Get Your Motor Runnin’ CNIB proudly introduces CNIB Open Road: Touring with Purpose, an exclusive motorcycle touring event that will take riders and passengers on an adventure tour unlike any other. Limited to 100 riders per location, each tour is designed to showcase the famous topography of Canada’s rural highways. Over 600 kilometres of open road are yours to discover. Two dates to choose from: Calgary, Alberta August 17 & 18, 2007 Toronto, Ontario August 23, 24 & 25, 2007 Worry-free touring You only need your bike and adventurous spirit, and we’ll supply the rest. First-class accommodations, upscale dining, entertainment and more await you on this premier tour. Travel by yourself, or bring a friend along to share the adventure. Fees and pledge requirements vary by tour so be sure to visit us online at www.cnibopenroad.ca. Amazing prize incentives are available as well as a Top Provincial Prize at each event. Participants who raise $10,000 are eligible to win a High Alpine Tour through the Alps, courtesy of Edelweiss Bike Travel. And it’s all in support of CNIB as your pledges fund vision health research, services and prevention programs. For more information, contact Toronto Tour, Daniela Rodrigo at 416-486- 2500 ext. 7031, or Calgary Tour, Pam Swan at 403-261-7208, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit us online at www.cnibopenroad.ca or pick up a copy of Inside Motorcycles magazine (our media partner) to see a full page ad. NewsFlash Welcome to the new cnib.ca CNIB’s website has been completely redesigned and loaded with everything you need to stay up to speed on vision health issues in Canada and around the world. Fully accessible and fully compatible with screen reading software programs, our new site is as attractive as it is functional, proving once and for all that aesthetics can work hand in hand with good design. Check us out at www.cnib.ca. Correction CNIB Low Vision Specialist Elaine Cahill recommends that consumers purchase sunglasses that have 100 per cent UV A and B protection. Incorrect information was printed in January’s issue. CNIB Vision regrets the error. Ask the Expert Q. I am considering laser eye surgery. How safe is this procedure and what are the risks? A. Laser eye surgery is a treatment to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Short pulses of invisible ultraviolet light remove a small amount of tissue from the front of the eye – the cornea – to correct the curvature. By correcting the curvature, images are better focused on the retina and the images are clearer. The surgery may reduce or eliminate the need for contact lenses or glasses. Millions of people in North America, Europe and Asia have had successful laser eye surgery. As with any medical procedure, there are risks involved. However, the chances of having vision-reducing complications are minimal. Some potential complications include dryness, night glare, haloes, under or over correction and loss of best corrected vision. All these risks should be discussed fully with your eye doctor prior to the procedure. The best way to help prevent complications is to choose a surgeon who is experienced and respected in the community. People 21 years of age or older with healthy eyes and stable vision are possible candidates for this procedure. A visit to an ophthalmologist will help determine if laser correction for nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism is right for you. W. Bruce Jackson, MD, FRCSC, Director General, University of Ottawa Eye Institute Have a vision-related question? Let us know! It could be featured in the next issue. Write to email@example.com. NewsFlash Myra’s Marathon CNIB Board member Dr. Myra Rodriguez will celebrate her 65th birthday this fall by setting out to power-walk a half-marathon (21.2 km) in each of Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories over the course of one year. She starts with the Newfoundland Provincial Marathon in St. John’s on September 16, 2007, and ends with the Toronto Scotiabank Marathon on September 28, 2008. All funds raised through sponsorship and pledges for Myra’s Marathon will be given to the CNIB Library to expand its collection of braille and audiobooks by Canadian authors. For more information, or to make a pledge, call 1-800- 563-2642. Research in Brief Signs for the times CNIB is assisting GO Transit, Ontario’s interregional transit system, with a study to determine the best lettering to use on signs in their terminals. The goal is to ensure that terminal and platform signs are accessible to all travelers. Over 100 volunteers with varying degrees of vision loss participated in the trial over a three-day period. Five different fonts were tested at a variety of distances, under specific light conditions. The results will be incorporated into the renovation of Toronto’s Union Station. Give a gift that won’t collect dust Jane Beaumont has one of the simplest “wish lists” around. No flowers, slippers or china figurines for her; instead, the Ottawa library and information systems consultant prefers that people give a gift to CNIB in her name. And for her friends’ birthdays and special occasions, she’s happy to return the favour. “My friends and I all had major birthdays and events coming up, and we didn’t want gifts that just collected dust,” she says. “Boomers tend to have all the things they want, and many of us just don’t need any more gifts.” Beaumont, who is president of Beaumont and Associates Inc. in Ottawa, first became involved with CNIB in the early 1990s, when she began consulting for the CNIB Library. She joined the CNIB Library Board in 1998 and has been its Chair since 2004. She is also active in promoting and implementing the National Network for Equitable Library Services, a public/private partnership involving the federal government, public libraries and CNIB. Beaumont is especially enthusiastic about the fact that Gifts in Honour can now be made online through CNIB’s secure website. “Being able to donate online makes it so much easier to do,” she says, “and it’s easier to encourage others to do it. “Even giving by phone is easy now,” she adds. “A friend of mine made a gift to CNIB by phone, and was pleasantly surprised by how friendly the people were, and how simple the whole process was.” To find out more about giving a gift to CNIB in honour of a friend or loved one, call us toll free at 1-800-563-2642 or visit www.cnib.ca/give. Get Involved There are solutions to improving quality of life for any of us living with vision loss – but it takes experience and a helping hand. We invite you to get involved with CNIB. Volunteer, donate or learn more about our programs and services. And if you or someone you know might need CNIB’s help, we’re here for you. For more information, visit www.cnib.ca or call 1-800-563-2642. Advocacy Highlights Elections Canada aims to increase accessibility Elections Canada is on the road to making the electoral process more accessible. With the help of CNIB and the Canadian Council of the Blind, Elections Canada is producing a new plastic template to assist people with vision loss who choose to vote in private. This tool will include raised numbers and braille for easy identification of candidate names. The template, along with large print lists of candidate names, will be available in all polling stations for the next federal election. Web accessibility has also become a priority for Elections Canada. Web pages on the site are currently designed to be compatible with screen readers – a screen reader allows a person with vision loss to access information on a computer screen by synthetic voice output, magnifying software or through electronic braille display. Special hidden links have also been added to almost every page on the site to allow for easy navigation with a screen reader. The next major upgrade for the site will be the implementation of scalable fonts. Scalable fonts allow the user to increase or decrease the text size on a web page according to his or her needs. For more information about Elections Canada, please visit www.elections.ca. Spotlight Dr. Keith Gordon CNIB extends a warm welcome to its new Head of Research, Keith Gordon Ph.D. Born in South Africa, Dr. Gordon came to Canada in 1967. Dr. Gordon has helped establish eye clinics in Ghana, Africa and in St. Kitts. He currently serves on the Board of Operation Eyesight Universal, an organization dedicated to eliminating avoidable blindness in India and Africa. Dr. Gordon brings to CNIB a wealth of experience in scientific and clinical vision research. In a career that has spanned more than 30 years with Alcon Canada Inc., Dr. Gordon has a distinguished record of achievement and leadership in both research and administration. His goal at CNIB is to ensure the development of ongoing, evidence-based program improvements, and to provide the research data that is essential for developing and influencing public policy initiatives. Research in Brief Canadians value sight more than sex, money or power In a survey conducted last year, 70 per cent of Canadians said they would not give up their eyesight for anything – not to win the lottery, become Prime Minister, or even to enjoy a lifetime of great sex. Not only that, 97 per cent of Canadians wouldn’t want to live to 100 – even if they were otherwise healthy – if they had to give up their vision. But most Canadians lack the foresight to protect what they value most. Less than 40 per cent said they were very likely to get an eye exam soon, even though 81 per cent recognized that vision loss can be prevented by early detection. The national survey of 1,121 adult Canadians was conducted by Ipsos-Reid on behalf of the Canadian Association of Optometrists. Thumbs Up! To Lions Clubs throughout Canada, for their unwavering support of people with vision loss, including programs providing eyeglasses for kids and funding for guide dog training. To WestJet, for making its online flight reservation system more accessible to people who use screen reading software, and for donating to CNIB two per cent of all fares booked through the WestJet link on cnib.ca. To CNIB Library volunteer narrator Ann Saunders, for her dedication in making each new Harry Potter book available in audio format in record time. To Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who announced in Budget 2007 a Registered Disability Savings Plan to take effect starting next year. Individuals eligible for the Disability Tax Credit are also eligible to establish an RDSP. CALENDAR OF EVENTS ALBERTA May 24, 2007 Medicine Hat Walk Towards Independence 1 pm. at the Chinook Village Terrance Room. Entertainment by The Hillbilly Band. May 27, 2007 Wainwright Walk Towards Independence in support of seniors’ programs. Hosted by the Wainwright low vision group. For information or pledge forms, call 842-3059. June 3, 2007 Camrose Walk Towards Independence in support of seniors’ programs. Hosted by the Camrose low vision group at the Bill Fowler Centre. For information and pledge forms, call 672-7420 or 672-1408. June 8, 2007 Vermilion Lions Golf Event June 10, 2007 Grande Prarie Walk Towards Independence & Barbecue August 17 & 18 2007 – Calgary CNIB Open Road: Touring with Purpose Exclusive motorcycle touring event in support of CNIB’s vision health research, services and prevention programs. For info, call Pam Swan at 403-261-7208, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cnibopenroad.ca. BRITISH COLUMBIA June 1, 2007, 12 pm CNIB Donor Tea to thank and honour our major donors. Hosted by Board Chair Charles Mossop. Address by MLA Ida Chong, Minister of Community Services and Minister Responsible for Seniors’ and Women’s Issues, plus a display of works by Victoria artist and CNIB client Terrence Finnie. August 10, 2007. The Second Annual Walter Gretzky CNIB Golf Classic will be held at the Bear Mountain Golf Resort, Victoria, BC. Contact Sharon at email@example.com or 250-519-1108 to register. Anyone in Nanaimo interested in joining a monthly support group for seniors with low vision? Contact Dawn Day at 250-595-1100 for more information. Adjustment to Vision Loss courses are scheduled for Victoria, Nanaimo, Campbell River, Comox Valley and Parksville this summer. Contact Phil to reserve your seat at 1-800-563-2642. June 7, 2007 – Vernon Focus on Seniors The Schubert Centre 3505 – 30th Avenue 10 am – 2 pm June 13, 2007 – Penticton Service Day Penticton United Church 696 Main Street 2 – 4 pm June 14, 2007 – Kamloops Service Day Executive Inn 540 Victoria Street 2 – 4 pm MANITOBA June 5 Winnipeg Peer Group Wind-up Picnic, St. Vital Park, 11 am – 2 pm. Contact Kathy at 789-0936. June 13 Selkirk Scotiabank Golf Tournament July 30 – August 3 Winnipeg CNIB Children’s Camp at Brereton Lake. Contact Naomi at 774-5421. July/August – Summer Program July 3 – “Winnipeg Goldeyes” Baseball Game July 11 – Farm Day July 18 – Movie Afternoon July 25 – Visit Harbourview Park August 1 – Pineridge Hollow Teahouse August 6 (tentative) – Rainbow Stage – “The Sound of Music” August 15 – Lockport – Tour and Lunch August 22 – Gimli – Day at the Lake Please call Kathy Ilg at 789-0936 at least one week prior to the activities if you would like to attend. August 31 Winnipeg Scotiabank/Bob Cameron Golf Classic September 8 Grand Prize Draw for 15th Annual Car Raffle October 3 Raise A Reader NEW BRUNSWICK Walter Gretzky CNIB Golf Classic The Walter Gretzky CNIB Golf Classic returns to Moncton on August 22. Once again, the Golf Classic will be the highlight of the day at Royal Oaks, with a dinner and auction occurring the evening prior to the golf. “Last year was the first time that the Walter Gretzky CNIB Golf Classic was staged in Moncton and its return is in appreciation of the very strong community support which we received,” commented Duncan Williams, Director, Services and Operations for New Brunswick. To enter a team or for more information, contact Jackie Biffin, Coordinator, Corporate and Community Development at 506-458-0070 or firstname.lastname@example.org. NEWFOUNDLAND and LABRADOR The Walter Gretzky CNIB Golf Classic will be making its first stop in Atlantic Canada at the beautiful Bally Haly Golf Club in St. John’s on Thursday, August 16, 2007. The event is in its second year and like last year is expected to sell out in record time. Proceeds will help support CNIB & Gretzky Youth Programs. You can be a corporate or hole sponsor, enter a team, a player or both. Contact: Carmelita Joy-Bolger at 1-800-563-2642 or carmelita.joy- email@example.com CNIB Atlantic Home Sweet Home Lottery Check out your local retail outlets and major shopping centres across Newfoundland and Labrador for your chance to win a Maple Leaf home, plus $1,000 towards setup costs, or a beautiful 2007 Chrysler Sebring. Tickets are $10 each or three for $20. Early bird prizes will also be drawn on June 21. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 1-800-334-2642 x230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. NOVA SCOTIA/PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND The Walter Gretzky CNIB Golf Classic Auction August 23, 2007 – Halifax, NS 7 pm, Halifax Harbourfront Marriot Hotel – travel packages and other great items up for auction. Sixth Annual Walter Gretzky CNIB Golf Classic – August 24, 2007 Chester, NS For more information, contact Susan LeBlanc at email@example.com or 902-453-1480. CNIB Golf Tournament August 18, 2007 – Le Portage, Cheticamp $500/team or $125/person. Contact Bernadette Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 902-564-5711 for more information. CNIB Philip Bower Charity Golf Tournament August 24, 2007 – Fox Meadow Golf & Country Club Tee-off at 1 pm. Teams: $500 each. Contact Karen Lamont at email@example.com or 902-566-2580 for more information. Annual CNIB Home Sweet Home Lottery First grand prize is a Maple Leaf modular home, plus $1,000 set-up costs. Second grand prize is a 2007 Chrysler Sebring. Draw date is August 30. Early bird prizes of 10 barbecues and 10 digital cameras to be drawn June 21. Contact 1-800-457-0079 to order. ONTARIO May 2007 Across Ontario CNIB Door-to-Door canvass campaign For info, call 1-866-272-3687 May 26 – Toronto Doors Open Toronto For info, call 416-486-2500 May 30 – Toronto CNIB Technology Fair Find out the latest in assistive technology. For info, call Elaine 416-486-2500 x8241 June 2-3 – Belleville CNIB Million Dollar Shootout Trillium Woods Golf Course. Contact Lori 613-542-4975 x5088 June 12 – Peterborough CNIB Technology Fair 10 am - 3 pm, Peterborough Lions Centre. For info, call Jennifer 705-745- 6918 x5238 Walter Gretzky CNIB Golf Classic June 29 –London For info, call Barb 519-685-8420 x5101 July 16-17 – Brantford For info, call Sue 519-753-3486 August 14 – Ottawa Xerox 10K 5-8 pm, Experimental Farm. For info, call Jennifer 613-563-4021 x5028 August 23, 24 & 25 – Toronto CNIB Open Road: Touring with Purpose For info, call Daniela Rodrigo at 416-486-2500 x7031 For more information about these and other events, visit www.cnib.ca/ontario or call 1-800-563-2642 QUEBEC GLOBALL CNIB Night-Time Golf Tournament June 20, 2007 Play nine holes in the dark at the prestigious Beaconsfield Golf Club followed by cocktails, an elegant sit-down dinner, lots of golf stories, silent auction and games. NOIR – September 6, 2007 Join us for an evening of fun, flavour and rhythm at the post-performance dinner-dance soirée following the Gala des Étoiles. Dancing and exotic food by Java U, and a star-studded dance contest featuring celebrated dancers of the Gala des Étoiles. For information and ticket reservations for either event, contact Charles Martin at (514) 934-4622 x253. CNIB TechnoVision 2007 October 5, 2007 Join us in Quebec City for our eighth annual vision health exhibit, CNIB TechnoVision, featuring experts in the fields of vision health, technology and vision support services. Get up to date with the latest products, solutions and information for your individual needs. This is your chance to attend presentations, visit the exhibit hall and meet experts directly. For information, please contact Dorothée Janet at (514) 934-4622 x 245, or visit us online at www.cnib.ca. SASKATCHEWAN June 15 Saskatoon Golf Tournament June 26 – Regina Clarica-Regina Lions Golf Tournament July 5 Estevan Lions Golf Tournament July 25 Lottery Calendar Project begins July 22 to 27 Summer Camp for Youth The annual camp for youth ages 12-16 will take place at Arlington Beach. For more information, please call CNIB Regina. August 28 & 29 Moose Jaw Lions Golf Tournament September 14 Grand prize draw for Saskatchewan Car Raffle October 3 Raise a Reader OutReach CNIB holds Service Days and Low Vision Days in rural communities. CNIB staff provide services and demonstrate assistive devices. For more information, dates and locations, call CNIB in your community. Peer Support A new peer support group has started for people who are working-age and living in Regina and area. For more information, please call Lisa at 565- 5412. For more information about these and other events, please call 525-2571 in Regina or 374-4545 in Saskatoon. CNIB Vision health. Vision hope. Toll-free: 1-800-563-2642 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org May 2007 Editor: Catherine Bryant Charitable Organization No. 119219459 RR0003 CNIB Vision is also available in French and alternative formats.